I'm participating in this forum aftera few months but I have a few comments:
For practicle applications I think weapons training is a vehicle to learn how to defend and disarm an opponent. He may not carry a "seven-foot-long naginata" it may be a stick or bat but the approach to the defense is the same.
The writer should be confident in her skills against a street attack with or without weapons training.
I think the street fighter or street assailant is highly overrated.
the only advantage he has is against a weaker and unskilled opponent; plus
the element of surprise. Let me stress this again; the victim must be both
weaker AND unskilled plus they must have the element of surprise.
So targeting the right victim to attack is very important. With
that said anyone with a good 10/12 self defense techniques (including against weapons)
has a good chance of neutralizing and/or defeating an attacker...i.e. you don't have to win to win.
Aikido being a somewhat different type of martial art turns the element of surprise back onto the attacker. All of a sudden an attacker finds himself being thrown or in a painful wristlock while
wondering how he ended up in this position anyway (at least I was surprised).